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AUSTIN EDITION Andreasen joins race for Congress

We are part of The Trust Project.

By Lanier Holt

lholt@postbulletin.com

Saying he's tired of partisan politics, Steve Andreasen announced his candidacy for Congress Monday in Rochester.

Andreasen is seeking endorsement of the Democratic Farmer Labor Party to be its candidate for Congress in Minnesota's 1st Congressional District.

"I have witnessed the corrosive effect of partisan politics, fueled by money and special interests on our nation and priorities," he said.

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Andreasen, who is from Richfield and moved to Rochester earlier this year, served as a National Security aide under presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton. He said that if he is elected he will focus on improving national security and strengthening the economy.

"Providing for the security of Minnesotans and the nation will always be my first priority," he said.

Andreasen said his priorities on the economy would be to restore fiscal balance at the earliest possible date, including the Social Security and Medical surpluses.

Andreasen will likely be pitted against four-term incumbent Gil Gutknecht, a Republican from Rochester, and Paul Dahl, a Mayo Clinic librarian who announced his candidacy on Jan. 8.

Democrats are looking for at least two other candidates to enter the race. They are Todd Rasmussen, a Winona School Board member, and Heather Robins, chairwoman of the Rice County Board.

Gutknecht is not expected to be opposed for the Republican nomination.

Redistricting and the changing composition of voters have Democrats sizing up the district as winnable.

Andreasen said the district is one of the most independent in the state and current leadership is out of touch.

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"The House of Representatives, more often than not, charts a narrow course that is out of step with Minnesota's first district. And our current representative, almost always votes in lockstep with the House leadership," Andreasen said.

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